The chicks in our brooder coop have reached that stage of chicken adolescence when they all start to look a little like Bill the Cat.


Bill the Cat

They’ve also taken to hopping up on the top of their waterer, so that when they poop (and they are prodigious producers of poo), their droppings fall directly into the water intended for them to drink.

Just one of the seemingly countless reasons that a favorite expression around here is (said while shaking headย and sighing): “Chickens.”


27 comments on “Chickens

  1. Joanna says:

    We have chicks too! I know exactly what you mean ๐Ÿ˜€ So where do our one/two day old chicks sit? on top of their tray of food of course

    Liked by 2 people

  2. shoreacres says:

    I’d forgotten about Bill the Cat. How that could happen, I’m not sure, but — uh — thanks for the reminder. I realized I knew nothing about Bill (the cat, that is) so I headed for the Wiki and discovered that both Texas and Iowa underlie his character:

    “Bill the Cat was inspired by a colorful economist named Bill Moore. Moore was a graduate assistant at the University of Texas at Austin during the 1970s, and one of Berkeley Breathed’s teachers. Recognizably wild-eyed (and one legged), Moore also became one of Breathed’s friends. His name was inspired by a local homeless man of Iowa City, Iowa, who was dubbed Bill “The Cat”. Nothing is known of Bill’s whereabouts from the early 2000s onward. It is assumed he either moved to a different town, or, more likely, is deceased.”

    I didn’t know Bill is understood to be a spoof of Garfield, either. So much learning for so early in the morning! My regards to the chicks who inspired all this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I remembered Bill the Cat when I was thinking about how scruffy the chicks look now. Last night I asked Cherie where the character came from and it took us a while to remember. I knew it was from a comic strip and had been a spoof of another comic strip character cat, but that was all I could come up with. Google solved the problem and then we had a lot of laughs recalling Bill the Cat’s adventures. I did not know the story you shared.


  3. Bill, pigs and chickens. They just don’t seem to think ahead about what will happen if I poo in my drinking water. Oh, well, the master and care taker will clean it out so they can do it again. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s just one of the never ending joys of homesteading, right? It’s one of the reasons I don’t have animals or birds any more. My days are spent tackling weeds and garden protection from the wild life. Daily chores just don’t fit into my routine.

    Today, I really need to transplant (or as the British say, “Pot up”) my tomatoes. They are growing right up through the grow lights. I guess that’s a good thing but I still have about four weeks before I can think about leaving them outside permanently. The green peppers are looking good as well so gardening is alive and well in Nebraska.

    Have a great poopy water cleaning day.


    • Bill says:

      We worked late yesterday getting all the potatoes planted in advance of today’s rain. Now we have little break from planting. Anytime after 4/20 is good for sweet corn but we don’t plant the other summer stuff till May.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yup, it does seem to be a ubiquitous behaviour, and I agree with Dave – pigs are not immune. And chickens do look scruffy at a certain point don’t they? And again when they moult…


    • Bill says:

      I’ve seen pigs standing in their water trough drinking out of one end and discharging out of the other.

      The chicks are definitely at the scruffy stage–not fluffy little chicks anymore but not properly feathered-out chickens yet either. I wish I’d gotten a better picture to show how funny-looking they are now.


  5. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Nope, they’re not the sharpest knives in the poultry drawer, hey? (Are all chickens truly stupid… Or just some? GAK!; )


  6. avwalters says:

    Well, if they were smart, would they put up with us?


  7. smfarm says:

    We were forever cleaning out the chicks water and feeders, until this year we put them in a deeper brooder and hung their water and feeders instead of sitting on the ground. Worked like a charm.


  8. Sue says:

    Ah, the ugly teenager stage. But, those antics will keep you busy and soon they will be rewarding you!
    Have a wonderful week


  9. EllaDee says:

    Isn’t it the same for all adolescents… we all went through that gawky stage and figuring stuff out the hard way… teenagers!… chickens!


  10. barnraised says:

    I appreciate all this “unique” advice and forewarnings as we prepare to add chickens in next spring!


  11. I kind of like the goofy chicken teenager look. Ha! You can never keep them from messing up their water.


  12. Steve says:

    Our chickens are good for a laugh a day. I particularly enjoy the arguments over who gets the prime nesting box. One sits on the nest with a borrd look of contentment while the next in line squawks and complains and struts as if she’s auditioning for a role in a community opera.


    • Bill says:

      Sometimes one of ours will get tired of waiting (or refuse to even consider it) and will crowd into an already occupied nesting box. And there they’ll be–two hens huddled down in the same nesting box, squaking and growling at each other.


  13. I’ve posted on my blog before about our poop-free watering system which works great for our grown-up birds, but when we have chicks about I hang hamster water bottles at chick height. Because the mamas are already familiar with the tapping motion to get the water they teach the babies right away how to use them. As the chicks grow I can easily raise them up – they are designed to hook onto a cage and since our coop is covered in hardware cloth – it works the same way. If you don’t have broody hens to teach them you can teach them the same way you do with the regular waterers – just tap their beak on it and then just tap your finger on it a few times now and then until they get the hang of it.


    • Bill says:

      Hamster water bottles–what a great idea! Our chicks did fine until they got to the teenager stage. It’s time to move them out to the big girls coop now. That transition has its own set of chicken challenges.


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